Experts to run Uthukela

2013-05-29 00:00

UTHUKELA District Municipality yesterday joined six other provincial municipalities that are either under full administration or with their finances being handled by experts.

The northern KZN municipality is run by an ANC/NFP coalition. The other six are run either by the ANC or ANC/NFP coalitions.

Yesterday, Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs MEC Nomusa Dube announced that a team of financial experts will be involved in the day-to-day financial administration of the municipality, focusing on improving the finances of the local authority.

The “support intervention”, according to a statement by the department, is in line with Section 139 (1) of the Constitution, and in accordance with the provisions of Section 136 (2) of the Municipal Finance Management Act.

Dube said Uthukela had received “a concerning” disclaimer audit finding from the auditor-general for the 2011/2012 financial year, signalling “poor book-keeping”, a finding that has the “potential to lead to poor performance”.

“In keeping with our commitment to ensure that there are no negative audit findings by the time we are evaluated in respect to the financial year 2014, we ought to be proactive towards nipping any negative signals before they lead to the worst,” said Dube.

She said it should be noted that “some of our municipalities still lack necessary technical capacity in various areas”.

The department is aiming to tackle the “dearth in financial and accounting skills capacity”.

“We hope that our interventions can be read correctly in this positive light, and we dismiss any suggestions that these processes are an indication that our local government is in a state of chaos.”

The team of (financial) experts will provide regular reports to Dube, until the MEC is satisfied that the municipality no longer faces any risks in this regard.

Uthukela deputy mayor and NFP spokesperson Maliyakhe Shelembe said they would welcome the intervention if it was meant to fast-track service delivery.

“It would seem that the MEC is under pressure as the ANC has vowed to ensure that all ANC-run municipalities get positive audit findings by 2014. One wonders if she’s not chasing deadlines set by the ANC,” he said.

Cogta spokesperson Lennox Mabaso said four KZN municipalities are under full administration, meaning that the executive functions of their mayors and municipal managers were taken over by an administrator. These are: Mbabazane, Abaqulusi, Mtubatuba and Indaka. Uthukela, Umzinyathi and Ugu are under support intervention.

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